First of all, I don’t know how famous this band is in the US (being that I’m from Italy), so I’ll probably need to introduce them somehow. Where are the manga/anime fans at? Anyone? Well, Maximum The Hormone is an interesting band hailing from Japan who gained huge popularity around the world when two of their songs were used as theme songs at the beginning of each episode of an anime called “Death Note” taken from the manga of the same name.
Like it or not, that anime attained massive success everywhere and made the history of modern Japanese animation. The songs were “Zetsobou Billy” and “What’s Up People”, and if you don’t know this band, those two songs are where you should start from, Then go on with other songs like “Koi No Megalover”, “Buiiki Kaesu” (which is also the title-track of the album featuring all the songs listed before), “Rokkinpo Goroshi”, “Bikini Sports Ponchin” and so on…
Yeah, you should start listening to them because for a writer/reviewer (especially coming from Europe or US) it’s pretty hard to describe what this band actually plays. In this case, we have a weird metalcore band, implementing strong punk-rock, hardcore, nu metal, funk, rapcore, progressive metal and pop elements. The whole thing is delivered by a team of four unquestionably skilled musicians. All of them also perform vocals, including the girl playing drums. The Japanese lyrics, often sung very fast with strange rhythms, melt with the general references to Japanese culture and make their mix even weirder for our western metal taste. But at the same time it’s incredibly interesting and, if you give it some time, irresistibly catchy. It’s also pretty damn hard, or even impossible, to find English translation of their lyrics. But the translations of the titles (which can be easily found around the internet) should give you enough nonsense.
The album itself is opened by the title track “Yoshu Fukushu”, also the second single taken from the album. It’s a damn heavy track with a very simple riff. Definitely the easier track for us western listeners. You should get a more specific idea of this band’s style from the tracks coming shortly after. This is especially true of track 3 “Utsukushikihitobitonouta” or a crazier one like track 4 “Benjo Sandal Dance”. The band’s talent should be evident from listening to more fast and funky tracks on the album.
This new release has been long awaited. Since the last album, the band has been releasing a bunch of singles and EPs. “Yoshu Fukushu” features some of those songs like “F” and “Tsume Tsume Tsume” (which somewhat unfortunately remains the best song on the album) and “Maximum The Hormone”.
Anyways, the album is various and balanced giving space to all the band’s influences. If you seek heaviness, check out the first single “A-L-I-E-N” or “Beauty Kilosseum”. If you want more funky grooves, give a listen to “Unbelievable!; Swomints Hockeleiro Mifeho”. If you want some pop-oriented stuff, listen to “My Girl” or “Koino Sperm”. You’ve got it all.
It’s a pretty well done album. It basically has anything you could desire from this band’s new release, even if the quality expected was probably a bit higher. This doesn’t reach the level of an album like “Buiiki Kaesu”, especially considering the best songs have already been released. It’s still pretty good all things considered. So even if it may sound strange, I strongly recommend you give this album, or this band, a listen or two. Take it like a challenge.